Tuesday, March 28, 2006

koi bhi desh perfect nahin hota, use perfect banana padta hai

Consider this a (very) belated review of Rang De Basanti. This was originally submitted to Rediff as a reader review, but they didn't like it I guess. It's their loss. :) This is a modified version of the review I submitted :

There are two kinds of movies in this world : movies that are crap and movies you enjoy. On Saturday, January 28, 2006, I watched a third kind. You see, some movies are special. And RDB has a special characteristic that very few movies possess : it messes with your head. My friend who accompanied me to the movie was reminded of how The Matrix messed with his head, back in 1999. Mind you, it's no mean feat for a movie to mess with your head. I will not hunt through the thesaurus to look for alternatives of “terrific”. Rang De Basanti is actually too good to be worthy of praise, it’s simply good – that’s it!

After watching it for the first time, I just couldn’t get it out of my system. The whole concept amazed me to no end. Even now, my mind just boggles at the thought of the movie. At the thought of a particular scene depicting the camaraderie or serious discussions between the friends (“ik pair past mein, te ik pair future mein, tabhi toh hum aaj pe moot rahe hain”). At the thought of the ending, I mean what the hell was that!! It's haunting me in an indescribable manner; I’m not sure if I want to be inspired by the movie or heap praise over the way it’s been made. Cricket boggling the mind is still bearable and forgivable (e.g. dramatic results in the India VS. Pakistan ODI in Karachi, 2004 or the India VS. Australia Test in Kolkata, 2001). But for a movie to have such an effect on me was a first.

And now for a snippet of the current Bollywood situation. There’s no doubt that Bollywood is churning out loads and loads of crap these days. It’s become even more evident in the wake of competition in the recent years. That’s another thing I don’t understand. Competition is supposed to raise the standard of quality; things don’t quite work that way in Bollywood. The Bollywood industry provides its audience with all genres of movies. But what’s the point if the viewer is left to decide which the lesser of the pathetic crap is. It’s pretty much a lose-lose situation for the Indian movie-goer. RDB is a refreshing change, a world apart from the rest of contemporary Indian cinema. It’s commercial, and yet very meaningful.

Back to RDB then. And its most talked-about aspect : the ending. Should they have killed the Defense Minister, and more importantly, did all of them have to die at the end? (If you didn’t know this, then you haven’t watched the movie. Shame on you!! But it’s OK. I believe in forgiveness, and you can redeem yourself by buying tickets for the next show or even renting the DVD). Should they have killed the Defense Minister? It was probably a very drastic move, an extremist decision. I think it just signifies that circumstances are so pathetic in India right now that it requires such drastic measures to repair the system. But, according to my friend, there is a silver lining to people’s dislike for the ending. At least, there are people who realize that killing a minister might not be the right way to change the system, that there are non-violent and less drastic solutions to cleaning the system (you might want to check out Yuva which deals with a similar issue).

Of course, there are also aspects of RDB which are pretty flawless. I don’t think I’ve met anyone so far who hasn’t enjoyed the first half. The amazing thing is that all different aspects like the performances, music (including the superb background music – should be sold as a separate CD) and the dialogues seem to gel together perfectly.

I’m not sure if RDB has inspired me to do something about the Indian system or made me a more patriotic person. But it was one hell of a movie experience! And to all of you so-called Bollywood producers, directors, writers (etc. etc.) : kuchh seekho, picture aise banaate hain . . . .

Recommended song (Hindi) : Aa chal doob ke dekhe (Sunset Point)

Gulzar is probably the only lyricist who can pull this one off. He will definitely feature more often in my "recommended song" section in the future.

Aa chal doob ke dekhe
Ek do chaand se kude
. . . .
Arre, chal jebein bharle taaron se
Daane chhitkaate chalein
Arre, chal muffler pehenke baadal ke
Baarish barsaate chalein
Kuchh aisa karein jo hua nahin
Jo hua nahin woh karein

If you like this kinda music, check out the other songs of this album. Some are quite nice.

Monday, March 20, 2006

a pathetic fielding display

Cricket's a really crude game. You seriously don't know what's on offer on some days. Take the Florida Tech. team for instance. Now we are no professionals, and we have our days. But on the whole, we're a very inconsistent side; you never know how a particular player will perform on any given day. And so it happened today : a pathetic fielding performance, a really pathetic one by everybody in the team, save one. According to our captain, who btw loves to exaggerate, we dropped around 20 chances (I hope that includes the 'half-chances' or else that's just plain sad). And yours truly also dropped a few, one of them an absolute sitter. But I have no excuses : no sunlight factor, no "the ball was too far", no "the ball was too fast." And I didn't even want to analyze why I dropped those. All I can say is that sometimes when someone drops a catch in your team, it immediately puts pressure on the rest of them to take the next chance that comes their way. This is regardless of how tough the chance. And this pyschological factor really screws with the fielder's head. Before I dropped the sitter, the bowler's first cry was "atleast catch this one, man ... come on!" Talk about pressure! .... well no excuses ...

Recommended song (English) : Wonderwall by Oasis. It was one of the first few English songs that I liked. I didn't really understand what the lyrics meant, I just liked the music and the flow of the song I guess. Only recently, I realized that I didn't know what the word 'wonderwall' meant. It's a very weird word because even if you try and make sense out of 'wonder' and 'wall' put together, it doesn't ring any bells. And it turns out that 'wonderwall' isn't even a real word. According to the Oasis guitarist, the song's about an imaginary friend who's going to come and save you from yourself. Well, figure the lyrics out for yourself (http://www.songmeanings.net/lyric.php?lid=38&offset=0&page=1#comments).

I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now
. . . .
there are many things that I would like to say to you
but I don't know how
because maybe you're gonna be the one that saves me,
and after all, you're my wonderwall . . . .

Thursday, March 02, 2006

soch ko aaraam dene se dard hoga :)

Haven't had the time to post an entry. Started writing one a few days back, but was too lazy to complete it.

In the meanwhile, check out this great Hindi poetry blog by Saurav Arya : http://www.aawaaj.blogspot.com/.

Awesome original poetry, check it out.

Thought for the day :
"Soch ko aaraam dene se dard hoga" . . . . Inspired from one of Saurav's poems.

Jaante ho dosto
dard dil me chupakar
kaise mai jeeta hu?
mai daudta hu
mai bhagta hu
aur fir so jaata hu
bas kabhi bhi rukta nahi
shayad mai jaanta hu
soch ko aaraam dene se dard hoga